Ireland Men battled their way to the Final of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix in Moscow, pretty much ticking all the boxes ahead of their participation in the Rugby Europe Olympic Qualifier in Colomiers on July 13-14.
As top seeds in this competition Ireland kicked off the tournament on Saturday with a comfortable 29 – 0 win against Romania.
They followed this up with a battling 26 – 14 win against Italy before going down to World Series side, France, who carried the top ranking into Day 2 following their 38 – 14 win.
The results left Ireland second in Pool A as follows.
|Pool A Teams||PLD||W||D||L||PTS|
Ireland started Day 2 with a difficult quarter Final match against, Pool C winners Spain. They progressed past the experienced Spanish side by the odd try in five with a 17 – 12 win which set up a Semi Final against the up and coming Germany.
Again, in another tight game it was the odd try in five that saw them through winning this one 17 – 10. The result set Ireland up with their second match against France, who had progressed to the final with wins against Italy and England.
France started the final strongly with two early tries one converted giving them a 12 – 0 lead. The French particularly adept at regaining possession from the restarts.
Ireland finally got their hands on the ball and Jordan Conroy broke out wide to finish under the posts for a converted try to take the score to 12 – 7.
France again won the restart to sprint through the middle for their third but a patient build up by Ireland allowed them to release Conroy again to take the score to 19 – 14 at the break.
Ireland took the lead at the start of the second half when Billy Dardis was sent through in the centre and his conversion of this own try put Ireland two points in front.
However, France’s dominance at the restart allowed them to work another try out wide before adding a second in the same corner to pull ten points clear as the clock ticked down.
Ireland managed to pull one back after the hooter as Terry Kennedy burrowed over from close in. The game ended with the conversion attempt going wide leaving France with a 31 – 26 win.
Ireland Men Sevens Squad – Moscow
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Jack Daly (Garryowen/Munster)
Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College) (capt)
Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University/Leinster)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College)
Adam Leavy (Lansdowne)
Hugo Lennox (Clontarf)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College)
Greg O’Shea (Shannon)
Mark Roche (Blackrock College)